Steve Frosty Weintraub, of Collider.com, said it is impossible to fully review Blade Runner 2049 without giving away spoilers and he is right. As such, this will be a short review and will remain spoiler free. After I have seen the movie a second time I will release a spoiler heavy review.
Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049 stars Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, Jared Leto, and Barkhad Abdi.
It is rare for a sequel to be as good, if not better than its original, though it is even rarer for a sequel to come 35 years later and still have an incredible impact, but that is exactly what Blade Runner 2049 does. The movie shows incredible respect to the film that came before with some subtle throw back to the original and some on the nose comments regarding certain fan theories. At San Diego Comic Con, director Denis Villeneuve said he wanted to direct the sequel so no one else would ‘fuck it up’ and I am glad he did because in the hands of a lesser director this movie would have been a mess. He is an incredible filmmaker that aligns himself with other talented people. Though it was not just his talent that makes this film special, it is the stunning cinematography done by Roger Deakins and the incredible score by Hans Zimmer. I cannot stress enough how gorgeous this movie is to look at; from the bright neon colours to the use of shadows, Deakins shot a beautiful film. Hans Zimmer has made some iconic scores but the way he uses sounds to set the scene and build tension is nothing short of brilliant. There is one scene in particular, where the audience will predict what will happen but the score negates the predictability of the scene by building tension.
Blade Runner 2049 has an incredible cast; from Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, to young newcomers Ana De Armas and Mackenzie Davis everyone is fantastic. It has been great to see Harrison Ford care about his iconic characters again, with this being an excellent follow up to the performance he gave in The Force Awakens. The whole cast are great to watch, and definitely create fantastic characters that make the world more interesting.
I really enjoy the first Blade Runner so I had high hopes for the sequel, with Blade Runner 2049 being on my most anticipated list for the year. I can safely say it lived up to my expectations. Whilst there are similarities between the two films, the sequel does enough to stand on its own as a great film. I believe it will have a wider appeal to audiences, mainly because it didn’t have the subtle cleverness that the first one boast, but it is still a smart film. I just cannot stress how beautiful to look at the movie is, with the special effects looking amazing. If there is one thing to take away from Blade Runner 2049 it’s that a good sequel can still be made despite having a large time gap, you just need to make a good movie first.
See it! People who aren’t fans of the original as well as people who haven’t seen it can enjoy this movie. Given the visuals and sound this is a must see in the cinema.
Blade Runner 2049 scores 8.5/10
Thanks for reading my spoiler free review of Blade Runner 2049. I will do a spoiler heavy review soon to hopefully fuel the discussion further. Are you excited for the movie? Do you love the original? Perhaps you are a fan of Denis Villeneuve.
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Synopsis by Warner Brothers